2010 was a great year for many artists. Some new and some old. From Lady Gaga to Justin Bieber, this year was definitely dominated by Pop music. Some artists who were more renowned for other genres were now moving into the pop genre to great success. You only have to look at Usher for example to see how well the switch could work for an artist.
Usher released his latest album ‘Raymond V Raymond‘ in the early part of 2010, which has sold 1.7 million albums worlwide this year. The the first single to be released off the album was ‘Hey Daddy (Daddy’s Home)’. The song peaked at number 24 in the US hot 100 chart, while second single ‘Lil Freak’ featuring everyone’s favourite female rapper Nicki Minaj, managed to chart at number 40 in the US, and 109 over here in the UK. However the song that got Usher the most commercial success around the globe was ‘OMG‘ featuring Will.I.Am, as it hit the top spot in the US and the UK, as well as many other countries around the world.
The first two singles that were released were very much influenced by R&B and hip hop and you would not say that there was a hint of pop in either. Whereas ‘OMG’ is heavily influenced by a dance-pop Sound, but this formula worked very well for the singer. The song was made for the dance floor and was a huge success on and off it. Here in the UK the song became the 3rd best selling song of 2010.
After such success the singer released ‘There Goes My Baby‘ which is a great Usher record as it reminds me of the Usher of the past. The song peaked at number 25 in the US, but was not released in the UK. The song was strictly r&b, with no hint of pop added. Then Usher went back to the formula that worked so well on his previous release and brought us ‘Dj Got Us Falling In Love’ featuring Pitbull. The song managed a number 4 position in the US and a number 7 in the UK, and ended up being one of Usher’s most successful singles Internationally as it charted in the top 10 of every country it was released in bar three. The song again was made for the dance floor, as was the case with ‘OMG’ and this seemed to be the them with some of 2010′s biggest singles and albums.
It should come as no surprise that the biggest selling album of 2010 worldwide with 5.8 million copies comes from the new queen of pop Lady Gaga with the ‘Fame Monster‘. In the chart of the 20 top selling albums of 2010 there are 8 pop albums in total. The 8 acts are ‘Lady Gaga’, ‘Justin Bieber’, ‘Black Eyed Peas‘, ‘Katy Perry’, ‘Ke$ha’, ‘Rihanna’, Take That’, and ‘Usher’. This makes for very impressive reading and shows it was a very good year for pop acts.
Rihanna sits at number 1 on the iTunes chart on both the single and album chart here in the UK as I type this. Her album ‘Loud’, even though it has only been out for just over 6 weeks, has already sold over 2 million Worldwide and this has secured the number 15 spot of the 20 biggest selling albums of 2010.
The album again is very much influenced by pop and dance-pop. The response from Fans has been immense as sales are showing. Here in the UK, by Sunday the album will pass the 1 million mark and the same mark will be passed in the US by mid January I am sure. The album is already the fastest selling Rihanna album and this is the 5th. The fact that ‘What’s My Name’ could still peak at number 1 in the UK, even though it has been out for over a month now shows how well fans are reacting to her Music.
Pop is clearly the right formula for the singer as commercially it is gaining greater attention than her previous album ‘Rated R’ which headed in a darker direction. It’s pop that got Katy Perry recognised in 2008 with her album ‘One of the Boys’ and now in 2010 with her latest record ‘Teenage Dream‘ she has managed to stay current and successful. Her first 3 singles to be released ‘California Girls’ featuring Snoop Dog, ‘Teenage Dream’ and ‘Firework‘ have all peaked at number 1 in the US, and in the UK have charted at number 1, 2 and 3 respectively. The album also spawned two Grammy nominations for the artist.
Talking about nominations, earlier in the year Ke$ha was nominated for the ‘Best New Act’ at the MTV Europe Music Awards alongside B.O.B, Justin Bieber, Plan B and “I Always Have To Sing The Name, Jason Derulo ♪”. My money was on the kid Bieber to Win, but to my surprise and I’m sure many others it was the ‘Tik-Tok’ singer who walked away with the award. It was a great year for the singer, whether you like her or not you can’t deny her obvious success. I don’t know if you can call her style rapping, let alone singing, but one thing I do know is she had a great year. Her Album ‘Cannibal’ sits at number 14 in the top selling albums of 2010 with 2.1 million copies shifted, and two of her five released singles have topped the hot 100 in the US, while the other three have at least charted in the top 10. It’s hard to talk about pop in 2010 and not mention Ke$ha.
2010 was clearly all about pop music and I never even went in to great detail about three other big hitters including Justin Bieber who has a fan base reminiscent of Britney right at the start of her career. We also now have a new queen of pop as she is now known, Lady Gaga and how can I not mention Bruno Mars, who for me possibly had one the best albums of 2010, definitely in my top 3. Have no fear though the three will be looked at in greater detail in another post, until then I hope you all have a great New Years Eve.